Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategy 2022-25

The Johnson Shoyama Graduate School's EDI Strategy is aligned with the school's Strategic Plan and complements the University of Saskatchewan’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Policy and the University of Regina 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, All Our Relations | kahkiyaw kiwâhkômâkaninawak, focus on Well-Being and Belonging.

As part of our commitment to preparing public sector professionals for career success, the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (JSGS) has developed strong EDI policies and practices that will help us in modelling the way for future policy leaders to confront 21st-century policy challenges.

Public sector professionals need to use inclusive practices to define and solve policy challenges. This includes having the skills to work with diverse groups, understanding stakeholder interests and positions, and dealing with conflict constructively to make progress on issues that matter to the stakeholders they serve.

At JSGS, we welcome the opportunity to work collectively within the school and across our two institutions to move forward toward our desired outcomes. As part of our efforts, we are leveraging the diversity of our faculty, staff and student body to ensure that we can create positive change within our School and progress within society. We also welcome people into our spaces and teams, bring people and experiences together, and create a conciliatory environment. We see our differences as a strength and appreciate the diversity within our teams. 

At JSGS, we strive to ensure that our people feel a sense of belonging and that they have the knowledge and skills necessary to work effectively with others.

JSGS is located on both Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 Territories, the original lands of the Cree, Ojibwe, Saulteaux, Dakota, Lakota and Nakota and the traditional homeland of the Métis. We pay our respect to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of this place and reaffirm our relationship with one another.

As a School, we approach issues of decolonization, reconciliation, Indigenization, equity, diversity, and inclusion with a spirit of humility, purpose, and commitment. We strive to be respectful and patient with ourselves and each other and to embrace constant learning and improvement. We are continuously working to build and maintain a community in which individuals feel respected and valued.

JSGS EDI Committee Members

The JSGS EDI Committee serves to inform, coordinate, and prompt efforts across the School to advance equity, diversity, and inclusivity in JSGS’s work, learning, and outreach environments and activities. The committee features representation from JSGS faculty, staff, Executives-in-Residence, and students, and includes members from Indigenous, racialized, and LGBTQ+ communities.  

The committee includes three working groups:

Loleen Berdahl

Loleen Berdahl, JSGS Executive Director
(she/her)

With a Ph.D. from the University of Calgary, Dr. Berdahl began her career working for the Canada West Foundation. Her time spent in a policy-related work environment inspired her commitment to helping students recognize and develop career-relevant skills that employers and society need. From 2016 to 2020, Dr. Berdahl served as the University of Saskatchewan Department of Political Studies department head, where she saw the unit through a period of significant renewal and revitalization both in terms of programming and faculty complement.

Asmita Bhardwaj

Asmita Bhardwaj, JSGS Ph.D. Candidate
(she/her)

Asmita Bhardwaj is a Master of Public Policy student at Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy and has a Ph.D. from Cornell University (USA) in International Development and a Masters and Bachelors in Urban Planning from the USA and India. She has more than fifteen years of experience with universities, think tanks, and intergovernmental bodies, in North America, India, and globally including the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, Germany, and International Institute for Sustainable Development, Canada.

John Bird

John Bird, Indigenous Governance Program Coordinator, JSGS Executive Education
(he/him)

John Bird is a citizen of the Peepeekisis First Nation and is a program coordinator working in the areas of Indigenous governance, public sector governance, and board governance. Originally from Saskatchewan, in 2013 John completed his MA in Political Science from the University of Regina.  

Karen Jaster Laforge

Karen Jaster-Laforge, JSGS Community Engagement Coordinator
(she/her)

Karen Jaster-Laforge enjoys connecting the JSGS community with speakers interested in sharing their knowledge through JSGS’s public lectures and events, including the EDI Discussion Series. In her spare time, Karen enjoys being outdoors, camping, spending time with her family, and volunteering.

 

Alastair Macfadden

Alastair Macfadden, Interim Director and Executive-in-Residence, JSGS USask campus
(he/him)

Before joining JSGS, Alastair MacFadden served as the Deputy Minister of Immigration and Career Training (2018-20) and as Assistant Deputy Minister of Labour Market Development (2013-18) for the Government of Saskatchewan. These roles involved reconciling labour market agendas for Canadians and newcomers, negotiating investments in Saskatchewan workers and businesses, expanding the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program, working to improve student transitions into post-secondary institutions and into the workforce, and preparing the system—of training, education, immigration, employment and related services—to adapt to a changing economy and context. 

Robin Miller.jpg

Robin Miller, JSGS MPA Student
(she/her)

Robin is a citizen of Métis Nation-Saskatchewan. Her great-grandparents, Rena Mae Brown and Thomas Laidler were from the small Métis community of Poplar Point in Manitoba. Robin was raised in northern Manitoba and moved south to complete a Bachelor of Human Ecology Degree from the University of Manitoba in 1998. Robin has many years of front-line experience in chronic disease management as a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, Provincial Program Coordinator, and Primary Health Care Manager. Robin is committed to lifelong learning and is currently pursuing an MPA through the JSGS University of Saskatchewan campus. Robin is looking forward to her new role with the Saskatchewan Health Authority as a policy specialist with Corporate and Clinical Policy starting in May 2022.

Emmy Neuls

Emmy Neuls, Manager of Graduate Programs (Distance Delivery), USask campus
(she/her)

Having moved to Saskatchewan as an international student from Norway, Emmy knows first-hand how international experiences can mold an individual’s perspective in terms of academic research and outlook on life. She has spent her career providing opportunities for students and faculty to expand their learning experiences to include an international and Indigenous perspective. As part of her work, she has been very fortunate to collaborate with both the University of Saskatchewan and UiT the Arctic University of Norway, and with community partners, to develop and maintain an international program and partnership that can have a true impact on the community level.

Martin Boucher

Martin Boucher, JSGS Faculty Member, USask campus
(he/him)

Martin Boucher is a faculty lecturer at JSGS and the academic lead for the online MPA and GENI programs. Martin has a background in energy sustainability, global change, and the natural sciences, with degrees from the University of Waterloo, Athabasca University, and the University of Saskatchewan. 

 

Kurtis Boyer

Kurtis Boyer, JSGS Postdoctoral Fellow, USask campus
(he/him)

Kurtis Boyer is a citizen of the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan and is a political scientist working in the areas of Indigenous governance and political psychology. Originally from Southern Saskatchewan, in 2018 Kurtis completed his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Lund in Sweden.  

Bruno Dupeyron

Bruno Dupeyron, JSGS Faculty Member, U of R campus
(he/him)

Bruno Dupeyron is a professor at JSGS. Bruno was trained in law and political science at the Université de Strasbourg, the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle. His research focuses on border and migration issues.

Margot Hurlbert

Margot Hurlbert, JSGS Faculty Member, U of R campus
(she/her)

Margot A. Hurlbert is a Canada Research Chair, Tear II, in Climate Change, Energy and Sustainability Policy.  Margot was born in Kinistino, Saskatchewan, and is a graduate of the University of Regina, with law degrees from Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Amsterdam.  

JSGS EDI Guiding Principles

As we embark on implementing our EDI Strategy, JSGS will be guided by the following principles to ensure that we can build a better environment for our entire community.

  1. To remain committed to evaluating our: A) operations, spaces, teams, B) outreach initiatives, and C) programs and research, in regard to upholding evidence-based principles for equity, diversity, and inclusion actions. 
  2. To establish a welcoming environment for all faculty, Executives-in-Residence, staff, students, researchers, partners, and visitors. To create spaces (physical and online) that are safe by giving respect to, and learning from, all persons that engage with the academic and executive education units.
  3. To assess and act, as is necessary, in order to address our internal barriers (explicit and unconscious) and inequities. By acknowledging systemic barriers, we are better able to advance institutional equity, diversity, and inclusion actions. This includes addressing barriers faced by, but not limited to, women, Indigenous Peoples, newcomers to Canada, neurodiverse individuals, persons with different accessibility needs, racialized groups, and members of LGBTQ2S+ communities. 
  4. To understand that equity, diversity, inclusion, and a sense of belonging will strengthen our communities and are vital to achieving excellence, innovation, and creativity in all domains.
  5. To be humble and be led to reconciliation practises by engaging and sustaining partnerships with First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples and their community members, Nations, and organisations.
  6. To develop a JSGS EDI Strategy, via the EDI committee, including an action plan and measures of effectiveness. After the Joint Faculty Council (JFC) approves the EDI Strategy for implementation, the EDI Committee will provide information regularly to the JFC on the School’s progress.
  7. To demonstrate commitment and accountability for progress on EDI strategy and the EDI environment of the school. A report will be given to the JSGS Executive Committee and to the JSGS Joint Faculty Council to review every second year. Reporting will include progress on the development and implementation of the EDI Strategy and Action Plan, as well as other initiatives and findings of the committee.
  8. To ensure issues of institutional and individual safety, privacy, trust, belonging, and power differentials are recognized and proactively addressed; this is most successful when those impacted are directly engaged in defining the issues and actions.

Teams, Operations, and Spaces

Desired Outcomes and Actions Steps

DESIRED OUTCOMES ACTION STEPS TO GET THERE
Hiring processes (including student research assistant, intern, postdoctoral, staff, faculty, researcher, and executive in residence) are conducted with EDI awareness and lens.
  • Schedule university-offered implicit bias training to hiring/search committee members.
  • Expand recruitment practices to include networks and communities outside the Universities where possible.
  • Work with International Office on work visa matters as needed.
Our JSGS team reflects our diverse community (local, national, international).
  • Ensure team complement planning, including faculty, staff, sessional instructors, and Executives-in-Residence, considers diversity and representation within JSGS.
Our JSGS team continues to advance its knowledge regarding EDI.
  • Provide continual learning opportunities for all JSGS members. This may include a collection of information regarding EDI principles (e.g., Canvas).
  • Encourage a welcoming environment in which team members feel safe to ask questions on topics where individuals have no first-hand knowledge.
Our JSGS team appreciates and understands the unique socio-cultural position of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
  • Create/enlist a basic online course for all team members to take, followed by a debriefing session.
JSGS advisory committees (i.e., voluntary groups established to provide strategic feedback to JSGS) include a representation of diverse lived experiences.
  • Assess existing advisory committees through an EDI lens and address any areas of low representation.
  • Ensure new advisory committees include a representation of diverse lived experiences.
  • Create a JSGS EDI Advisory committee of BIPOC and Indigenous People(s), work to sustain the committee.
Online spaces are inclusive, accessible, and welcoming.
  • Ensure website redesign considers EDI.
  • Provide faculty and instructors with information about the accessibility of online resources.
Physical spaces are inclusive, accessible, and welcoming.
  • Assess existing JSGS artwork, photos, and other images through an EDI lens and address any areas of low representation.
  • Ensure new JSGS artwork, photos, and other images reflect diversity.
  • Consult with University about spaces to see how accessibility can be improved for better accommodations.

Outreach

Desired Outcomes and Actions Steps

DESIRED OUTCOME ACTION STEPS TO GET THERE
Public-facing images are representative of our socially and culturally diverse population.
  • Maintain and utilize one online shared folder of diverse images curated by JSGS staff, and available for all staff and faculty, that reflects JSGS diversity.
Publications, websites, and social media use inclusive and non-discriminatory language and meet accessibility standards (such as Web Content Accessibility Guidelines).
  • Ensure the JSGS website is meeting the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines by consulting with USask IT support.
  • Work with the universities to co-create guidelines for JSGS staff, faculty, and editors to help them (1) use inclusive language, and (2) develop JSGS style guidelines (including what words to capitalize etc.) The guideline document will include a list of resources and tools.

Email signatures and business cards reflect consistent, school-wide JSGS identity and commitment to EDI.

Email signatures include a land-based acknowledgement.

  • Encourage JSGS team members to include their preferred pronouns.
  • Hold a workshop to help JSGS team members write personalized acknowledgments of the Traditional Lands.
Authors and speakers reflect a diverse audience with aspirational targets set based on the demographics of Saskatchewan.
  • Have Community Engagement Coordinator continue to collect EDI data on speakers and Policy Brief authors. Data is collected non-invasively through speaker biographies.
  • Keep aspirational targets for representation top of mind in the following ways:
    • Report EDI Data for events and Policy Briefs every four months at our Joint Faculty Council meetings. Present data as part of the Advancement Team report (or possibly during the EDI Committee updates, if appropriate) along with corresponding population data for Saskatchewan.
    • Specifically mention EDI data during comments for the Advancement Team reporting, in case any JSGS team members have not had the opportunity to read the report prior to the meeting.
    • Provide annual EDI data year-end reporting to the Executive Team along with reference to population data for Saskatchewan.
  • Use historical EDI data for JSGS events to develop a baseline of where we have been. This will help us monitor improvement over time. Incorporate population data from Saskatchewan to assist in setting goals for our speaker diversity.
  • Create guidelines to help individuals planning events ensure representative speakers.
  • Establish EDI criteria (or a checklist) for those making decisions about partnering/sponsoring events and for those planning speakers and panels for events.
  • Establish Traditional Protocol criteria for those making a request to Knowledge Keepers and Elders.
Feedback surveys seek evidence of diversity, equity and inclusivity.
  • Establish a template for regular reporting on progress on the EDI strategy and the EDI environment of the school.
  • Conduct annual surveys of JSGS people for anonymous feedback on the experience of inclusivity and advancement of EDI practises. Assess if student surveys can be updated and utilized annually.
  • Create feedback surveys that can be used across the school following classes, workshops, and events across different platforms (virtually and in-person).
  • Create guidance for when those survey questions will be used and when it is optional.

Programs and Research

Desired Outcomes and Actions Steps

DESIRED OUTCOME ACTION STEPS TO GET THERE
Make equal gender representation in our literature lists a priority (when appropriate to the class).
  • Add language to syllabus template for optional instructor use:
    • “In recognition that studies show that women are underrepresented as authors on course materials across disciplines and that this limits the exposure of students to women experts—the instructors of this course have made efforts to ensure at least a level of 1:1 gender parity is achieved and reflected in the readings.” OR
    • “Studies show that women are underrepresented as authors on course materials across disciplines and that this limits the exposure of students to women experts. The instructors of this course have made efforts to achieve gender parity in the reading list. In the spirit of joining the instructor in these efforts, we encourage all students who know of any relevant readings to email their recommendations at the course’s end.”
All content dealing with Indigenous peoples accurately reflect the distinction of each Indigenous group in Canada (First Nation, Inuit and Métis) and have each group represented.
  • Find a way to ensure that JSGS programming and initiatives reflect and respect the distinction of each Indigenous group in Canada (First Nation, Inuit and Métis).
  • Find a way to ensure that each group is properly represented in JSGS programming and initiatives.
Acknowledge neurodiversity and make this reflective in efforts to have the different learning styles of students.
  • Invite the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning to provide a workshop on teaching neurodiverse students.
  • Update the supervision agreement to consider individual student learning needs in the following way:
    • 1. Create a box for specific amendments (nature of deliverables, meeting structure etc.).
    • 2. Include a clause that states the student and potential supervisor have met and engaged in a dialogue aimed at determining what amendments to the agreement should be made to ensure that the overall structure of supervision genuinely reflects and provides for the unique learning needs of each student.
Students appreciate and understand the history and the unique socio-cultural position of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
  • Create/enlist a basic online course for all students to take, followed by a debriefing session. Ensure it provides proper representation of all three Indigenous groups. Engage with the MHA to ensure the inclusion of social determinants of health.
Support Indigenous students by identifying, and removing barriers for accessing funding.
  • Review funding opportunities to identify those with barriers to Indigenous students. Propose changes to remove those obstacles.
Improve the accessibility of the syllabus template.
  • Replace wording on “disability” with “different accessibility needs.”
  • Ensure that the syllabus template is OCR’d (Optical Character Recognition) so that anyone with a need to listen to the document via text-to-speech software, is able.
  • Advise instructors to avoid tables in syllabi.
  • Make a general statement in the syllabus template regarding adjustments that have been made (new and updated policies) and provide a means for students to provide further feedback.
  • Provide instructors with optional text regarding children in the classroom.
Instructors review and incorporate, whenever applicable, EDI guidelines for online spaces.
  • Develop EDI guidelines for online spaces.
Our student body reflects our diverse communities (local, national, international).
  • Ensure recruitment strategy includes EDI considerations.
Admissions and scholarship processes are conducted with EDI awareness and lens.
  • Schedule university-offered implicit bias training to admissions and scholarship team members. Schedule an EDI / sensitivity training scheduled in the fall, prior to the first intake. It should be done every year for new committee members.
  • Revise the ASC and JASC terms of reference in order to include EDI principles and norms, since the majority of applications that are reviewed are from international applicants. Consult with JASC members in order to schedule a meeting that will focus exclusively on this issue.
  • Define policies and practices for “non-standard” admission of students.
Scholarship recipients represent our diverse community.
  • Establish scholarships to recruit a diverse student body.
Research incorporates EDI principles, which reflects Tri-Council statement on EDI.
  • Ensure all researchers review EDI principles to support their research activities and proposals for research funding.
  • Provide researchers with supports to include EDI considerations in their research design and processes.
  • Provide researchers with support to assess the diversity of their research teams and to increase equitable and inclusive participation in their projects.
Ensure that Elders and Keepers of Indigenous knowledge play a role in supporting, conducting ceremony, mediating conflict, providing local context and history to programs and research.
  • Determine available resources for the establishment of a rotating “Elder in Residence” position.
Graduate research students consider if there are EDI dimensions to their thesis/dissertation.
  • Request that supervisors ask each MPP and PhD student to consider this.
Graduating students are prepared to advance EDI principles in their workplaces.
  • Incorporate EDI learning objectives in core courses. This may be advanced by adding EDI as a module in JSGS 882.